By a unanimous vote, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved revisions to the state’s heat illness prevention standard last week that agricultural organizations said will add clarity to the rules.
Modifications to the standard approved last Thursday add high-heat provisions for five industries, including agriculture, and clarify the shade requirement, including a “shade up” temperature trigger and limited exception to that requirement.
California became the first state in the nation to develop a regulation to protect employees from heat illness. First issued as an emergency regulation in 2005, the standard was made permanent in 2006. The regulation requires employers to provide outdoor employees with drinking water, shade breaks and training in heat-illness prevention. Employers also must have written compliance and emergency-response procedures.
The California Farm Bureau Federation said it will continue its training and outreach to ensure farm employers understand and comply with the standard.
“Farm Bureau and other organizations will continue doing all we can to educate farmers, farm employees and their supervisors about how to avoid heat illness. In the past several years, we have trained farmers and supervisors who work with some 400,000 farm employees,” said Bryan Little, CFBF director of labor affairs and chief operating officer of Farm Employers Labor Service. “We have distributed hundreds of thousands of heat-safety cards and posted heat-safety information at work sites and on water coolers, and we have run heat-safety announcements on Spanish-language radio stations.”
Revisions to the standard include the following: Continue reading Cal/OSHA Board Revises Heat Safety Rules